Hiring Remains Strong

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Although banking analysts are predicting a third quarter slowdown, financial services recruiters say hiring remains strong.

According to the Financial Times, Merrill Lynch brokerage analyst Guy Moszkowski has reduced forecast third-quarter earnings at Goldman Sachs by nearly 16 percent, to $2.77 a share, because of fewer M&A deals and a potential drop in equity trading. The FT also says prime brokerage fees could be at risk from hedge funds' reduced willingness to borrow heavily and make risky bets on the markets. Slowing economic growth and difficult international financial markets also have the potential to cause problems for the sector.

If times do take a turn for the worse, recruiters say banks will be quick to react. "Banks are very responsive to what's happening in the markets. If things start to slow and costs are seen to be getting out of control, they will simply impose a hiring freeze," says Mike Brenan, global managing director of London-based recruiter Alexander Mann Financial Markets, which deals mostly with front office hires. "So far we are not seeing any sign of hiring falling off, however."

Some recruiters report a slight slowdown in hiring, but say they expect such drops during the summer.